LAS VEGAS -- Influenza is sweeping across the nation and Nevada is no exception.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it expects the 2013 flu virus outbreak to be among the worst in a decade.
Primary care physician, Dr. Syed Hussain, said he has already treated several patients with the flu.
He said patients might be prone to self-diagnosing a common cold when they have a scratchy throat or stuffy nose, but that could be a mistake. The longer the symptoms are allowed to persist, the longer it could take to heal.
Patients often have a difficult time recognizing that they have caught the flu instead of the less severe cold.
Flu symptoms include feeling tired and fatigued, a fever or chills. Hussain said the major difference with the flu is extreme fatigue and an awful achy feeling.
"It's better to see the primary care physician within 48 hours," he said.
Washing your hands regularly is one of the key methods to keeping the flu at bay. Another is a flu vaccine.
"(The CDC recommends having a flu vaccine every year because the vaccine changes the make-up and strains every year," Hussain said.
This season, 18 children have already died from the flu and 2,000 people have been hospitalized across the nation.